D.C. United has officially started making moves for the international transfer window that is set to open next Tuesday, July 9. The club announced this afternoon that they had acquired former U.S. U-17, U-20 and U-23 youth international Jared Jeffrey through the waiver draft, which is an MLS player allocation mechanism that may not actually involve either waivers or a draft (Linda Richman, eat your heart out). The 23-year-old midfielder comes from FC Mainz 05 in Germany's Bundesliga, where he spent time with their reserves. Prior to that, he signed with Belgian club FC Brugge at age 18, but he was never able to break through to the first team on either side. Jeffrey captained the U.S. U-17s in the 2007 U-17 World Cup and also played in the 2009 U-20 World Cup. In the "names we're familiar with" department, he was on the U-23 side, along with Bill Hamid and Perry Kitchen, that failed to qualify for the London Olympics last year.
American Soccer Now touts Jeffrey's ability to play anywhere across midfield, which - along with his domestic status, his pedigree and the fact that he cost the team no assets to acquire - should explain Ben Olsen's interest in him. This certainly won't be the last move for United - at least, it had better not be - as they still have glaring needs on the forward line and in defense. But, if nothing else, this move signifies that the summer transfer season is upon us.
As I said in the lede, the transfer window opens on July 9, and Jeffrey will be available to play once his International Transfer Certificate arrives once the window is open. He, and anybody else the Black-and-Red bring in over the next week, won't be available for this week's games in Seattle and Colorado.
UPDATE: Apparently "waiver draft" is this, from MLSSoccer.com's write-up - "Jeffrey was acquired by United via the waiver wire after all MLS teams had declined to take part in a weighted lottery to secure his rights. The lottery is used to allocate returning US and Canadian youth internationals." So nobody, including D.C. United, was willing to use a weighted lottery spot, so he went onto waivers, which I believe are set in the reverse order of the standings, where United gobbled him up.